Audiences don't have a clear favourite of who should win the Oscar for best picture, and it shows how wide open the category is

Fox Searchlight Pictures

  • This year’s Oscar best-picture race is one of the closest in recent memory, as several films still have a chance at the prize.
  • Even audiences seem to be split, based on a new survey from ticketing company Fandango that asked over 7,000 moviegoers what best-picture nominee they thought deserved the award.
  • Audiences thought “The Shape of Water” deserves best-picture, but it’s a close race even in that regard.
  • The acting categories aren’t as close.

Unlike past years, best picture seems to be a toss-up at this year’s Academy Awards. With the ceremony looming, it still seems like several films have a legitimate shot at Oscar’s top prize on Sunday. And even audiences can’t make up their minds as to who deserves the win.

A new Fandango audience survey asked over 7,000 moviegoers what film they thought should win best picture, and it showed how close the race is.

“The Shape of Water” ultimately came out on top with 19% of the vote. But several other films trailed close behind: “Dunkirk” with 17%; “Get Out” with 16%; and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” with 14%.

All four of these films have a chance at best picture, and the feeling of audiences seems to reflect the unpredictable nature of this Oscars race.

“The Shape of Water” won the Producers Guild Award for best picture this year and director Guillermo del Toro has won every notable directing award, from the Directors Guild to the Golden Globes.

But it doesn’t have best picture in the bag.

“Dunkirk” hasn’t won major awards, but older Oscar voters might still be drawn to a World War II drama. “Get Out” recently won the Writers Guild Award for original screenplay, making it not only a frontrunner for the Oscar, but best picture, as well. And “Three Billboards” has gotten some major awards in acting, screenplay, and picture categories, such as at the Golden Globes and from BAFTA.

Even films that got a lower percentage of the votes were close among moviegoers surveyed by Fandango: “Darkest Hour” got 10%, and “Lady Bird” and “The Post” got 9%. “Call Me By Your Name” and “Phantom Thread” didn’t fare as well with audiences, with 4% and 2%, respectively.

The survey also asked moviegoers their thoughts on the directing and acting races, which aren’t as close in a lot of cases.

Below are the results for the rest of Fandango’s audience survey, including directing and acting Oscars:

Best Director

Getty Images / Stefania D’Alessandro

Guillermo Del Toro (“The Shape of Water”) 31%

Christopher Nolan (“Dunkirk”) 29%

Jordan Peele (“Get Out”) 23%

Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”) 14%

Paul Thomas Anderson (“Phantom Thread”) 3%

Best Actor

Focus Features

Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”) 44%

Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”) 23%

Denzel Washington (“Roman J. Israel”) 15%

Daniel Day-Lewis (“Phantom Thread”) 11%

Timothee Chalamet (“Call Me By Your Name”) 7%

Best Actress

Fox Searchlight

Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) 30%

Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water”) 20%

Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”) 19%

Saorsie Ronan (“Lady Bird”) 16%

Meryl Streep (“The Post”) 15%

Best Supporting Actor

Fox Searchlight

Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) 28%

Woody Harrelson (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri”) 23%

Richard Jenkins (“The Shape of Water”) 18%

Christopher Plummer (“All the Money in the World”) 16%

Willem Dafoe (“The Florida Project”) 15%

Best Supporting Actress


Allison Janney (“I, Tonya”) 30%

Octavia Spencer (“The Shape of Water”) 30%

Laurie Metcalf (“Lady Bird”) 24%

Mary J. Blige (“Mudbound”) 10%

Lesley Manville (“Phantom Thread”) 6%

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